Buying an Investment Property: Dual Occupancy

Dual Occupancy REVELATIONS

A Dual Occupancy home is similar in some ways to a duplex as they are still two homes on the one block. There are various designs some sharing one entrance while others have two totally separate entrances.

The main difference between a Dual Occ and a Duplex is that, in most cases, you cannot subdivide and have separate titles with a dual occupancy. You may also find a Dual Occ has a slightly lower price point than duplexes - due to the land price and design of the homes.

As property prices continue to rise, Dual-Occupancy homes are becoming increasingly popular with  investors owing to their affordability and the flexibility they offer.  Regardless of the actual design, they all provide the ability for two separate leases or possibly a company with staff in both sides - say day shift in one and night shift in the other.  

For example, the floor plan below shows a 5 bedroom house with a wall dividing the home in two. This design is similar to a duplex – one side has 3 beds, 2 baths and a single garage and the other has 2 beds, 2 baths and a single garage. Each side has its own entry and a separate kitchen, dining/living area and laundry. They also enjoy private alfresco areas and fenced back yards. There are two power meters, water meters, hot water systems and clothes lines.

From the street this dwelling looks like a standard family home. In fact, the only giveaway are the twin letterboxes! This type of property has a single freehold title, so there are NO body corporate fees and only ONE set of council rates to pay. 

Dual-Occupancy homes provide owners with enormous flexibility to meet their changing lifestyle needs. Here are a few ideas:

  • Investors – rent both sides out to maximise your yields. These properties will usually be Cashflow Positive and return around $100 per week after all costs including mortgage payments, rates, management fees and insurance. If the property is NRAS approved, you could receive Tax-Free Government incentives of $21,322 pa. Assuming CPI increases of just 3% pa, this totals more than $244,000 over 10 years. This could boost your after-tax return to more than $300 per week!

  • Owner-Occupiers – live in one side and rent the other… your tenant helps pay the mortgage for you!

  • Teenage Retreat or Granny Flat – if the kids can’t afford to move out on their own or if grandma or grandpa need looking after, this arrangement could be perfect.